Canadians Against Bill C-61

  • by: Every Canadian
  • recipient:  To the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled
Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Canadian Heritage Minister Josee Verner introduced Bill C-61 %u2013 the Canadian DMCA %u2013 earlier this morning. It is apparent that the worst fears of thousands of Canadians - over 42,000 as of this date on this group alone - have been realized. If enacted, the Canadian DMCA will leave Canada with one of the most restrictive copyright laws for the digital environment in the world. Far from providing assistance to the digital marketplace, this law will have a stifling effect on creativity, innovation, consumer rights, and free speech in Canada.

We, the undersigned residents of Canada draw attention of the House to the following:

THAT the Copyright Act is properly recognised as being a careful balance between the rights of creators and the rights of the public (including viewers, readers and listeners);

THAT the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously affirmed this view in CCH Canadian Ltd v Law Society of Upper Canada;

THAT digital technologies have recently given copyright holders the ability to upset the balance in the Copyright Act by preventing Canadians from accessing works for purposes that have been legally granted to them;

THAT the creation of original works is nourished by wide accessibility of earlier works, including a vibrant public domain;

THAT dissemination of cultural ideas requires that they be preserved in a form that is accessible to future generations; and

THAT historically consultations regarding changes to the Copyright Act have mostly taken place with creators, intermediaries and only some special users (such as educators and librarians)

THEREFORE, your petitioners call upon Parliament to ensure generally that users are recognised as interested parties and are meaningfully consulted about proposed changes to the Copyright Act and to ensure in particular that any changes at least preserve all existing users' rights, including the right to use copyrighted materials under Fair Dealing and the right to make private copies of audio recordings. We further call upon Parliament not to extend the term of copyright; and to recognise the right of citizens to personally control their own communication devices.

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